Tree Yoga Pose (Vriksasana)
The Tree Pose, or Vriksasana, is a standing balancing yoga pose that aims to strengthen the legs and improve balance – allowing the practitioner to remain steady and grounded.
It is, in fact, one of the oldest yoga poses according to ancient texts. In the town of Mahabalipuram, a stone statue is seen standing on one leg in a pose similar to vrikshasana, thus indicating that the yoga asana was in use during ancient times.
Sanskrit Name and Pronunciation of Vriksasana
The Sanskrit name of the Tree Yoga Pose is Vriksasana, which is pronounced bric-sha-sah-na. It is derived from the Sanskrit word vrksa, meaning tree, and asana, meaning posture.
Is the Tree Pose Difficult?
The Tree Pose is considered a beginner yoga pose (which is not difficult to master), and is one of the simplest asanas one can learn.
What Body Parts Are Affected?
Vriksasana benefits the following body parts:
Benefits of Practicing Vriksasana
– Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
– Stretches the groins, inner thighs, chest, and shoulders
– Improves sense of balance
– Relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet
Step-By-Step Sequencing Guide: How to Do Tree Pose
Here is the step-by-step guide to do the Tree Pose (Vrksasana):
– Step 1: Stand in Tadasana. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.
– Step 2: Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.
– Step 3: Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position with the top rim parallel to the floor.
– Step 4: Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in Anjali Mudra. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.
– Step 5: Stay in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.
What to Keep in Mind Before Doing Vriksasana: Caution and Common Mistakes
Refrain from doing the tree yoga pose if you have the following ailments:
– Low blood pressure
– High blood pressure: Don’t raise your arms overhead
What if I Can't Do the Tree Yoga Pose?
If you’re finding it difficult to maintain balance, firmly ground the foot and keep the pelvis in a neutral position. You can also use the help of a wall or chair to maintain balance.